Managing diabetes mellitus in cats

You can successfully manage your diabetic cat with insulin therapy, a suitable diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Can diabetes be cured?

Diabetic cats usually require lifelong treatment with an insulin preparation.

Clinical Remission of Diabetes Mellitus in Cats

Some diabetic cats no longer need insulin after a few weeks or months of treatment. This is known as clinical remission.

Diabetic cats that go into diabetic clinical remission have remaining functional cells in the pancreas which are able to produce sufficient insulin once persistently high blood glucose concentrations are treated adequately with insulin.

The time to remission is variable and likely depends on how long the the diabetes was untreated and if there are still functional insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Remission may be seen may be shortly after the start of treatment (e.g. around 2 weeks) or take up to 3-4 months or longer.

It is important to remember that remission does not mean cure and care must still be taken with your cat’s diet and lifestyle.

Aim of Treatment of the Diabetic Cat

The aim of treatment is to restore your cat’s quality of life to normal by stopping the signs of diabetes mellitus (drinking lots of water, urinating frequently, increased hunger and weight loss) without causing hypoglycaemia.

Untreated diabetes mellitus may result in a serious condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis. Read more in Emergencies

Insulin therapy in diabetic cats will also help minimise the long-term complications of diabetes mellitus such as hind limb weakness.

How are Diabetic Cats Treated?

A regular routine is vital for successful management of diabetes.

Effective treatment of diabetes is very rewarding. You can help restore your cat's quality of life.